AP NEWS

I&M seeking to raise electric rates 11.75%

May 15, 2019

Indiana Michigan Power wants to charge its customers more : $21.11 a month more by 2021 for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours, according to a news release from the utility.

If passed by state regulators, the new rates would come in three steps, with the first in the spring of 2020, the second on June 1, 2020 and the third “early in 2021,” according to the release.

The overall increase in bills would be 11.75%. But that increase would include a more than 40% hike in one monthly charge : the residential service charge, which would go from 15.

The charge is a flat fee that all customers pay, regardless of how much electricity they use. The impact in the increase in that charge cannot be lessened by using less electricity. 

The utility says the new residential service charge more accurately represents the cost to deal with the infrastructure needs of bringing electricity to customers’ homes. The charge is “the second lowest of the major Indiana utilities,” according to I&M.  

The plan for the rate increase was submitted to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, which will hold public hearings and accept written comments until later this year. 

This is I&M’s second proposed rate hike in two years. A year ago, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission allowed I&M to raise rates 7.26 percent. That monthly increase for a typical customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity was expected to be $9.41.

rsalter@jg.net